Lebanon stuns Korea

BANGALORE, SEPT. 17. Lebanon snatched a sensational 94-91 win over fancied Korea to top Group C, as the preliminary league stage of the 18th Asian junior basketball championships ended at the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex here on Friday evening.

The talk, did Korea play to its potential? or did it `tank' this crucial match?, preferring to be pooled alongside Iran, Kazakhstan and India in Group II for the second round, did float around the courts.

Lebanon, as a group topper, will now face off against holder China, Hong Kong China and the topper from Group B (Iran).

With the Indians having a rest day, the attention was on who would top Group C and B and the second place finisher in Group A, all of which had relevance to India's chances in the second round.

Earlier, Kazakhstan, after starting off on a blistering note, eased on the pedal but still carried too many guns for Saudi Arabia and won 85-59, to finish second best to China in Group A.

China topped Group A with a easy outing against Singapore winning 89-48, while Japan tasted its first success in Group B with a dogged 89-73 defeat of Kyrgyzstan.

The top two from each pool will now be pooled in Group I and II to fight for the top eight slots while the third and fourth finishers in the preliminary league from each group will figure in the league from Group III and IV and will match up for the ninth to 16 placings.

Second round groupings:

Group I: China, Lebanon, Hong Kong China and Iran.

Group II: Kazakhstan, Iran/Chinese Taipei, Korea and India.

Group III: Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Qatar.

Group IV: Singapore, Japan, Kuwait and Yemen.

The results:

Group A: China 89 (Chen Jianghua 17, Xie Libin 12, Wang Nan 10, Guo Lei 10) bt Singapore 48 (Oh Wei Jei 18, Leong Xiu Han 10) (HT: 51-28).

Kazakhstan 85 (Rustam Yargaliev 35, Anton Ponomarev 13, Maxim Voyeikov 12, Roman Assilbekov 10) bt Saudi Arabia 59 (Yahya Ali 11, Mohd. Salah 11, Aiman Madani 8, A. Rahman M 8) (HT: 44-27).

Group B: Japan 89 (Nishimura Fumio 24, Sasaki Toru 20, Kawamura Takuya 12, Ota Takumi 9) bt Kyrgyzstan 73 (Nail Gafarov 22, Yuriy Kistanov 15, Ruslan Abdurasulov 13, Aziz Halmurzin 10) (HT: 39-37).

Iran 76 (Jaber Darrehsari 31, Ali Baheran 18, Mohammedreza Bisheh 10) bt Chinese Taipei 56 (Lin Yi Huei 21, Su I Chieh 6) (HT: 42-36).

Group C: Philippines 100 (Dylan Ababou 25, Alvin John Calatayud 16, Rodel Ranises 12, Darryl Bautista 12, Diogenes Villame 9) bt Kuwait 76 (Abdul Aziz Barjas 28, Shayee Saeed 16, Abdul rahman Al Jomaa 11, Rashed Al Rabah 8) (HT: 43-36).

Lebanon 94 (Mazen Mneimneh 26, Joseph Jawad 16, Imad Saade 16, Marwan Ziade 15) bt Korea 91 (Sung Hoon Park 41, Sung Jin Park 22, Chang Min Lee 9) (HT: 50-42).

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